Thursday, May 7, 2009

A "Special" Movie

Special is not a comedy. It's not a super hero movie. It's not the typical goofy fluff that the basic plot could've easily devolved into. The story of a man convinced he has developed super powers, Special merely uses this premise as a jumping off point for a beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking and occasionally humorous look at life, and the role we play in it.

After seeing him in the dreaded and, thankfully, doomed Fox sitcom "The War at Home," Michael Rapaport has often been a deterrent for me. But I recant any Rapaport-related naysaying after seeing his performance in this film (though, I stand by my opinion that "The War at Home" was an abomination). He completely consumes the character of Les, an average, mistreated, easily manipulated parking cop who, upon entering into an experimental drug trial to shake up his "happy" life, becomes "Special". He believes that he has super powers with such conviction, that, regardless of how unbalanced his mental state becomes, we still root for him. We want him to have the powers he so desperately believes that he has. It's a performance that, had it been in a larger, more well known film, may have seen Rapaport nominated for some of Hollywood's biggest honors.

The symbolism is a wee bit overstated, (He's stalked and beat up by men in suits, and this isn't the Matrix)  but the great thing about this film is that it, ultimately, triumphs all of us who aren't "special", the non "suits" of the world who believe in or are living a life far different from the status quo. Although the DVD cover may claim otherwise,  Special is a deeply emotional film that gives a unique glimpse at the human spirit, and just how much it can take.

 It may not have been what we were expecting when we walked out of Blockbuster, but no complaints here.

Watch the trailer:

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